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MoArk hearing update2006-11-09 15:32:37mambo

The pro se peittioners (citizens representing themselves) traveled to Jefferson City, MO to complete the final two days of the MoArk/MDNR permit appeal evidenciary hearing. The final day was October 25, 2006. Several very emotional closing statments were made by the citizen petitioners, some of whom have roots in the area going back 150 years. They also have personal experience with all the rivers and lakes in the area, including witnessing their water quality decline over time. The Moark attorney made a motion to dismiss all petitioners at the beginning of closing arguments but was overruled by the hearing commissioner. What happens now is that the official hearing transcripts have to be secured by all participants at an estimated purchase price of $2500.00. Petitioners will need to collect money to buy a set because of the necessity in quoting only the testimony entered into the hearing in their later arguments. After transcripts are available then a 60-day clock begins to tick. Moark and MDNR attorneys have that amount of time to submit their briefs or their agruments proving and supporting their defense: that the permit allowing MoArk's expansion be retained as is. The petitioners will have another 60 days to rebutt these claims followed by a 15-day counter-rebuttal period. To settle this matter we are looking out into March 2007 or beyond. The hearing commissioner claims she will take into consideration the holiday period in determining the 60-day time periods.